This summer, the former Methodist church – turned into gallery – is housing four solo exhibitions, all working towards a new definition of sculpture. The rooms are filled with found objects from our daily lives (umbrellas, empty packaging, towels, toilet paper, clothes, etc…) which are reassembled and given new forms by the artists. Rejecting the use of conventional materials, recycling appears to be a core concept in their works where the old and unwanted is brought back to life again. Existing works from the collection face new commissions in a challenging and surprising display that finds its perfect mirror in the decaying walls of the surronding space.
After the National Gallery showing some of her recent works alongside old masters paintings in the Sunley Room in 2010-11, another exhibition last year at Karsten Shubert gallery presenting some black and white geometrical drawings from the sixties, Bridget Riley is back in London this year with a three floor exhibition at David Zwirner gallery. This time, the display focuses on her famous stripe paintings, with works dating back to the early sixties until today.
Spring is almost always synonym of renewal. After the busy season of graduate shows, students are still at the forefront with the new exhibition organised at the Photographers’ Gallery: a good occasion for us to spot tomorrow’s talents. Created 7 years ago, Fresh Faced + Wild Eyed aims to give young graduates from across the UK the opportunity to exhibit their works in one of the most dynamic galleries in the country. This year, the selection is not lacking diversity. On your way, you will find well mastered series of black and white prints, digital assemblages of colour photographs along with hand crafted collages, but also some experimental videos and narrative book projects. In short: a fireworks full of promises!
Here is a selection of the best projects:
After the Whiteney Biennale in New York earlier this year, Jacqueline Humphries comes to London with a new set of large abstract paintings. For her third solo show with Stuart Shave / Modern Art, the American painter was given both spaces in Helmet Row and Fitzroy Square to further invest and work on. Instead of replicating a similar display in each location, the artist chose to take advantage of having two spaces by creating totally different shows: two microcosms that both dialogue and contradict one another.
For the centenary of Lynn Chadwick’s birth, Blain Southern gives the artist a nice gift by organising a large survey of his work across the gallery’s three spaces in London, New York and Berlin. The British sculptor, who died in 2003, is seen as a key figure in post war British sculpture. In perfect harmony with his time, he was one of the first to incorporate industrial materials, such as steel, bronze or wood, in his works . He used to describe his sculptures, halfway between figuration and abstraction, as ways to study movement and position. The beautifully designed exhibition succeeds in giving a complete overview of Lynn’s remarkable work and paying a much deserved tribute to the late sculptor.
This spring, the Print Sales section at the Photographers’ Gallery in London presents us with a new and surprising display of images. What makes it so surprising is that they didn’t invite real photographers to show their works, but what they would rather call ‘image-makers’. Indeed, the common feature all six artists share is that they don’t take the photographs themselves but use pre-existing images they further modify through cut-outs, collages and embroidery. The result is quite refreshing and has the merit of questioning our conception of photography, making us reflect on the notions of appropriation and manipulation.
This summer, the Hauser & Wirth Gallery on Savile Row is getting quite dirty, both literally and figuratively. But who is to blame? The answer is: Californian artist Richard Jackson, who transformed the neat and white exhibition space in a messy and colorful shambles. A few steps away from the building, you can already see that “something happened”. Without even entering the space, you distinguish a massive yellow horse put upside down on a bright pink base, some rainbow paint splashes on the walls, and in the center, a funny smiling clown doing acrobatics.
As every year, the Royal College of Art in London manages to surprise with its Summer Show, giving us the chance to discover many new and promising talents. Usually, you leave the exhibition with your bag full of nice postcards and business cards, but more importantly, with an endless list of young artists to follow and further research on. The Fine Art section, located in the Battersea Buildings, offers a vast selection of artworks ranging from painting to printmaking, also including sculpture and photography works. In the building next door, the School of Materials showcases an impressive collection of ceramics, glass objects, gold and silver work, as well as fashion and textile designs. So to say: there is something for every taste!
Here is a selection of the best new talents:
After the success of The Artist is present, her impressive retrospective held by the MoMA in 2010, Abramovic comes back this summer with a new durational performance called 512 hours. This time, she will invest the more intimate space of the Serpentine Gallery in London to create her new work: a silent piece where the public is widely encouraged to participate. Six days a week over a period of three months, Abramovic will stand and roam over the empty space waiting for the public to come and interact, just to “see what will happen”.
“I’m there for them. They are my living material, I am their living material. And from this nothing, something may or may not happen.” (artist’s statement)
With spring coming, prizes seem to flourish everywhere. The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize chose the intimate space of the Photographers’ Gallery in London to showcase its four shortlisted artists. This year’s selection presents a vast and eclectic panorama of contemporary practices in Europe. While Richard Mosse reflects on the genre of war photography, Lorna Simpson is more concerned with the concept of performance. As for Jochen Lempert, she seems to follow a more experimental and abstract path. Lastly, Alberto Garcia-Alix shares with us an important photographic diary of his life over four decades.